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Book Information


Title: Modals in the Languages of Europe
Subtitle: A Reference Work
Edited By: Björn Hansen
Ferdinand de Haan
Series Title: Empirical Approaches to Language Typology [EALT] 44

This book is the first comprehensive survey of modals and modal
constructions in the languages of Europe. It is a collaborative effort
between scholars from Europe and the United States, stemming from a
workshop on Modals in the Languages of Europe in Valencia.

The aim of this book is to describe the properties of modals and modal
constructions in the European area and to compare the systems in individual
languages or language families from an areal and genetic perspective. For
the sake of contrast, the book also looks at the expression of modality in
some languages just outside of Europe. The book consists of fourteen
chapters on modal systems in individual languages or language families,
written by experts in the respective languages, and an introductory and
concluding chapter, written by the editors.

The book gives both a description of the modals in the individual languages
and an account of the nature and status of modals in general. It provides
the reader with a theoretical account of how modals and modal constructions
are grammaticalized. This theoretical account is informed by the parameters
of grammaticalization of Christian Lehmann. These parameters were chosen
because they are language-independent, as opposed to more language specific
criteria (for instance, the NICE-criteria for English). The parameters
themselves are examined as well for their suitability as part of any theory
of grammaticalization.

The book thus gives readers access to a collection of data on modality that
surpasses most works in this field and also provides a fresh perspective on
issues of grammaticalization and language contact. It is therefore of
interest to scholars of modality, language contact and areal linguistics,
grammaticalization theory and typology.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9783110219210
Pages: 572
Prices: U.S. $ 186.00
Europe EURO 133.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9783110219203
Pages: 572
Prices: Europe EURO 119.95
U.S. $ 186.00